Narendra Modi Speech – Demonetisation

Narendra Modi Speech – Demonetisation

Nearly 2 months after the demonetisation drive, PM Narendra Modi Speech
Nearly 2 months after the demonetisation drive, PM Narendra Modi Speech

NEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address on New Year’s eve, said his abrupt decision to cancel high-denomination notes last month has dealt “a serious blow” to black money, terror-financing and tax evasion. Defending his demonetisation drive, PM Modi, in a 45-minute speech delivered first in Hindi and then English, said, “There is no precedent globally to what India has done” and thanked the people for “redefining the concept of sacrifice” with their willingness to brave long lines at banks to get cash, which has been in short supply since he abolished 500-and 1,000-rupee notes on November 8. Prime Minister Modi, through his speech, revealed a cluster of new schemes for cheap housing for the poor along with special financial programs for small business, women and farmers, all of which could boost his party’s chances of winning Uttar Pradesh, which will vote soon for its next government.

  1. Describing the demonetisation drive as “a purification drive”, PM Modi said he has instructed all officials to focus on returning banks, over-run with customers desperate for cash, to focus urgently on plans to return to normal. He said he has urged special attention for rural and remote areas, where access to banks is not easy. (Read: PM Modi’s top quotes)
  2. The PM did not share any information on the amount of abolished currency that has been returned to banks. The deadline to turn in old notes ended yesterday. The cancelled notes added up to 86 per cent of the cash in circulation. Of the 15 lakh crores of abolished notes, nearly 14 lakhs had been returned as of a few days ago. That suggests that a vast amount of black money has not been wiped out with the notes ban. (Watch: PM Modi’s full speech on New Year’s eve | Watch in Hindi)
  3. The PM said that while the government is committed to respecting the autonomy of banks, he wants them to demonstrate a commitment to the middle class and poor. Indian banks have “never received such a large amount of money in such a short time,” he said. (Read: PM Modi’s 5 key announcements in New Year’s eve address)
  4. PM Modi announced a slew of  schemes to help the poor, farmers and small traders, all groups that are perceived as hard-hit after the notes ban was announced. He said housing loans for the rural and urban poor will be made cheaper, with large chunks of interest being waived. Small traders and medium-sized business will now get double or 2 crores as credit guarantee, which helps them get collateral-free loans. Farmers have been given a 60-day interest waivers on loans taking for the winter or rabi crop.
  5. Pregnant women will have Rs. 6,000 deposited in their accounts and for the next ten years, senior citizens will benefit from a fixed interest rate of 8 per cent on deposits up to 7.5 lakhs.
  6. The PM did not indicate when the limits imposed on cash withdrawals will be relaxed or removed. Starting January 1, 2017, the daily limit on ATM withdrawals will go up to Rs. 4,500 rupees from Rs. 2,500, but the weekly cap on withdrawals from bank accounts stays capped at Rs. 24,000 rupees.
  7. The deadline to exchange or deposit devalued high-value currency bills expired yesterday. Till March 31, the outlawed notes can be turned in at the Reserve Bank of India but not other bank branches.
  8. The opposition, which has attacked PM Modi for plunging the country into a cash crunch and steering it towards an economic slowdown, is misrepresenting the facts and has failed to read the anger of the people against corruption, the PM said. He asked parties to relinquish their “holier-than-thou” approach and take urgent steps to reform political funding.
  9. He also continued to lobby for digital transactions and highlighted the new app – BHIM – that he launched yesterday which does away with the need an internet connection or smartphone to make or receive payments by linking to the Aadhaar or biometrics data base.
  10. Economists expect the economy to benefit in the long term due to an increase in tax revenues but only once there is a plentiful supply of those elusive new notes in circulation.In his televised address on the eve of New Year, his first since the surprise November 8 announcement, PM Modi offerered relief to the poor, middle class, small businesses, farmers, senior citizens and pregnant women.

    PM Modi set out a stern warning of tough action against the “dishonest” people even as he assuaged the honest people that the government will act as a friend to them so that their difficulties are eased.

    Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, those belonging to the poor, lower middle and middle classes in cities will be eligible to four per cent discount on housing loans upto Rs 9 lakh. Loans of upto Rs 12 lakh will receive interest subvention of 3 per cent, PM Modi announced.

    For the benefit of small traders, the credit guarantee scheme for small, medium and micro enterprises (SME) will be enhanced for loans up to Rs 2 crore.

    “We have decided to enhance the credit guarantee scheme (credit guarantee fund for micro units development refinance agency or MUDRA) for small business so that they can access more funds to fulfil their growth potential,” the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation.

    Highlighting the six per cent increase in sowing during the last season, Modi declared that the government will bear 60 days’ interest incurred on farmer loans. This amount will be directly transferred to the farmers’ bank accounts.

    “In the last few weeks, an impression was sought to be created that agriculture sector has been destroyed. Farmers themselves have given a fitting reply to those who were doing so,” the Prime Minister said.

    Furthermore, 3 crore farmers’ credit cards will be converted to RuPay cards in the next 3 months for ease of buying and selling at any time.

    Nabard will be given an additional Rs 20,000 crore to finance district cooperative banks and societies..

     For senior citizens, a new scheme assures an interest of 8% for 10 years on deposits up to Rs 7.5 lakh.

     In order to further lower the pregnancy mortality rate, Rs 6,000 will be transferred into the accounts of pregnant women in 650 districts for vaccination and pre-natal care.

     Praising the citizens for their patience and unstinting support during this 50-day period, PM Modi said, “We cannot allow this fight against black money or corruption to slow down.”

    In his special address to the nation on New Year’s Eve, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said it was unacceptable that only 24 lakh people in the country have declared that they earn over Rs 10 lakh a year.

    “In the country only 24 lakh people accept that their income is more than Rs 10 lakh. Can any one accept it,” Modi said in his address to the nation on New Year’s eve.

    “We all see big buildings and cars around us. In the big cities, one can find many people with more than Rs 10 Lakh income,” he said.

    The Prime Minister said this fight for honesty needed to be strengthened: “It is natural to discuss what will happen with the corrupt. Law will take its own course.”

    PM Modi also said that thousands of people had written to him about the hardships they faced due to demonetisation but the November 8 decision proved that Indians wanted freedom from corruption.

    “The corruption had made the people of the country to bow before of it without their will. And they wanted to come out of it,” Modi said in his address to the nation on the New Year’s eve.

    Terming demonetisation as a “historic cleansing ritual”, Modi said people of the country had taken the biggest “shudhi yagna” after Diwali.

    The Prime Minister said the government will focus on rural areas to remove hardships. He termed the hardships and sacrifices that citizens endured were for a bright future.

    PM Modi said that normalising banking services, especially in the country’s rural and remote areas, was a priority in the New Year.

    “Efforts are on to normalise banking services in the New Year as soon as possible,” Modi said in his address to the nation on New Year’s Eve.

    “All the people concerned have been directed to function proactively to normalise banking services, especially in rural and remote areas. They have been told to weed out even the smallest of weaknesses to ensure that problems of villagers and farmers are solved,” Modi added.

    Security of the honest is government’s priority in battle against the corrupt, said PM Modi. He also promised that corrupt bank officials won’t be spared. The PM claimed that all roads for the dishonest have been closed, due to the demonetisation drive.

    He also announced that housing loans upto Rs 12 lakh will get subvention of 3 per cent. 3 lakh Kisan credit cards will be converted to Ru Pay cards. The Prime Minister also said that the government will guarentee loan for small traders upto Rs 2 crore. He also promised a 60 days interest waiver for farm loans taken from co-op banks.

    PM Modi also said that the senior citizens of the country would get eight per cent interest rate on fixed deposits up to Rs 7.5 lakh.

    “For senior citizens, we have decided that up to the amount of Rs 7.5 lakh in fixed deposits for 10 years, they would get the interest rate of eight per cent,” Modi said in his address to the nation of New Year’s Eve.

    He also said that the amount earned in interest can be withdrawn on monthly basis too.

    The Prime Minister further announced that the government would give the rebate of three and four percent on interest rates to the people who seek loans to build their houses in 2017.

    “To make the people of the middle class and the poor to buy or build their homes, the government has brought to schemes under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana,” Modi said in his address to the nation on New Year’s Eve.

    He said a concession of four per cent will be given to those take a loan of up to Rs 9 lakh and three percent on Rs 12 lakh.

    The Prime Minister also said that the government would also build 33 per cent more houses in the villages under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Awas Yojana.

    Modi also said that those who want to modify their building or houses, would get three per cent concession on loan of upto Rs 2 lakh.

    A scheme to provide pregnant women financial aid of Rs 6,000 as part of efforts to bring down the maternal mortality rate was also announced by the PM.

    “The scheme will be applicable across the over 650 districts of the country. Under this scheme a pregnant woman will be provided with Rs 6,000 for covering hospital admission, vaccination and nutritional food,” said Modi in his special address to the nation on New Year’s Eve.

    “The money will be directly transferred to pregnant women bank accounts,” he said, adding that it “will greatly help in bringing down maternal mortality rate”.

    Currently the scheme is being implemented on a pilot basis in 53 districts with the benefit amount being Rs 4,000.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called for all political parties in India to sit together and discuss ways to bring about transparency in their finances.

    “It is time that all politicians and political parties respect the feelings of the honest citizens and understand their anger,” Modi said in his address to the nation on New Year’s Eve.

    “It is true that political parties have from time to time made efforts to streamline the system and accepted limitations… today, there is the need that political parties rise above ‘holier than thou’ attitude and sit together to increase transparency and get rid of black money and corruption,” the Prime Minister said.

    He said it is also time to debate holding of simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

    He also declared the enhancement of credit guarantee scheme for small, medium and micro enterprises (SME) for loans up to Rs 2 crore.

    “We have decided to enhance the credit guarantee scheme (credit guarantee fund for micro units development refinance agency or MUDRA) for small business so that they can access more funds to fulfil their growth potential,” the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation.

    “In this regard, guarantees for loans up to Rs 2 crore will be given by the government. The earlier limit of the scheme was Rs 1 crore.”

    Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation a day after the nearly two-month long demonetisation exercise came to end.

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